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Fourth World by Jack Kirby Omnibus Hardcover – December 12, 2017
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About the Author
Jack "King" Kirby's comics career began in 1937 and continued for nearly six decades. With partner Joe Simon, Kirby first made his mark in comics in the 1940s by drawing and/or creating numerous features for DC Comics including SANDMAN, THE NEWSBOY LEGION and MANHUNTER, and for Marvel including CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE YOUNG ALLIES and the KID COMMANDOS. As the most valued team in comics, Simon and Kirby went on to create titles and concepts including FIGHTING AMERICAN, BOYS' RANCH and the creation of the romance comics genre. In 1961, the first issue of Marvel's FANTASTIC FOUR cemented Kirby's reputation as comics' preeminent creator, and a slew of famous titles followed that elevated him to legendary status, including INCREDIBLE HULK, AVENGERS and X-MEN. Kirby returned to DC in 1971 with his classic FOURTH WORLD TRILOGY, which was followed by THE DEMON and KAMANDI. Kirby continued working and innovating in comics until his death in 1994.
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This is the second time DC has done a Fourth World Omnibus but in the original attempt it was separated into four different books and if you try to buy them all today you’d be spending quite a bit of money. The new Omnibus is a massively better bargain. For the most part, the stories are being presented in the order in which they were published rather than grouping titles together. The book starts off with three Jimmy Olsen issues and then moves into the first issue of Forever People before moving into the first issue of New Gods. It’s a great decision since it keeps the natural narrative flow. I own most of the issues of Forever People and Mister Miracle and I’ve read reprints of New Gods but this is the first time I’ve read the Fourth World narrative all the way through. The Omnibus also fills in the gaps in my collection, for instance the Jimmy Olsen issues which started the story arc. When reading the entire storyline from the beginning it strikes you how impressive it is executed. Today, DC might do a huge crossover with a handful of writers and a dozen or so artists but Kirby did all of this by himself. It is a single vision from a single artist and the quality is spectacular.
If you have the upper body strength to lift this nearly 10-pound behemoth this is a lovely book to sit down with. DC releases a lot of Omnibuses with material that is historically significant but of middling quality. This Omnibus features one of the great comic creators at the top of his game, his magnum opus. There are a few things that lead me to believe that DC recognized that the Fourth World Omnibus was a cut above the rest. First, it uses a unique cover style rather that the standard one that DC has been using for several years in their Omnibus releases. Second, it uses a glossier paper than the other Omnibuses I own which already used high quality paper. This is clearly being released as an Omnibus above other Omnibuses and deservedly so. If you can only afford to buy one Omnibus this may be the best one to get.
Jack Kirby’s writing and art are some of the most distinctive in the history of comics. Even today, his Fourth World stories have massive repercussions in the DCU. This is the 100th anniversary of Jack Kirby (he was born in 1917) and DC has been releasing homages to his creations throughout the year. I picked up two new comics today, Bug and Mister Miracle, both creations of Jack Kirby. The $300 million dollar Justice League movie uses Steppenwolf as its main villain, a character created by Jack Kirby. (Don’t blame Kirby for how he was handled in the movie) It’s obvious that DC intends this movie to be a lead in to a confrontation with Darkseid, the main villain from Kirby’s Fourth World. The list of characters created by Jack Kirby for Marvel is stunning but this is probably his most personal and creative work. It has clearly stood the test of time and belongs in any comic fans library.
Page 943 is a mistaken duplication of Page 864. The original page that should be at 943 is omitted.
It's too frustrating to say anything more. A $100+ book should have all its pages, even if there are 1500 of them. That's literally the least they could provide.
UPDATE: You should be able to get a replacement through your retailer. But it won't happen automatically. You should contact your retailer for instructions.
Marvel was my primary focus. At the heart of this love of comics was an unwavering loyalty to Jack Kirby. The Fantastic Four, The Hulk, Thor, The Avengers, Captain America, to name but a few of the masterpieces this immortal icon brought to a youthful mind seeking excitement in a format that our Black and White TV could not hope to match. Then came 1970 and Jack was gone to the evil DC.
Fortunately for me, Jack had a whole new adventure waiting in the wings…The Fourth World. Although this wasn't the initial terminology for the sweeping saga when introduced through Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen, the day I walked into Olson's grocery store, (no relation), and found issue number 1 of New Gods, there was no turning back.
Although I desperately searched for all issues of the interconnected storyline, I ended up with sporadic editions of New Gods, Mister Miracle, The Forever People, and Jimmy Olsen. Over the years I was never able to obtain all issues and felt a bit lost and incomplete. Kamandi and The Demon helped with my Kirby fix, but missing out on the fates of the characters of New Genesis and Apokolips left a void.
Then came July 1, 2017. The announcement of a pre-order for The Fourth World Omnibus! The order was placed and the wait was on!
December 12, 2017…the beast landed.
Opening the box, I swear the grocery store smell hit me like a wall. 1,536 pages of pure Kirby joy. This book could easily serve as a blunt object murder weapon, but that would be a waste of indescribable proportions! The colors are fantastic. The pages are not pinched at the spine, and every brilliant panel is easily viewed. The weight of the paper assures me that I'll be enjoying this beautiful tome for years, AND passing it on to my brainwashed offspring and theirs for the future.
The Omnibus presents the entire storyline of The Fourth World in sequential order. Jimmy Olsen, New Gods, The Forever People, and Mister Miracle all for your viewing and reading pleasure. The despicable villains like Mantis, and one of my personal favorite heroes, Forager, bring me back to all those original issue, newsprint discoveries of the 1970s. My hands will be thoroughly cleaned before each reading, but this is one sturdy volume that begs to be read, viewed, and read again.
I've taken pretty good care of my originals. I've introduced my kids to the greatness of Jack Kirby with those issues, always with a bit of concern that a page would be torn or a cover smudged. Now, with this beautiful, epic volume, I can bring grandchildren into the fold without hesitation, and pass King Kirby onto new generations who may otherwise never have experienced the power of a Mother Box or traveling through a boom tube as it was meant to be.
I would recommend The Fourth World Omnibus to any Jack Kirby fan. I predict no disappointment.
Long live The King!
Most recent customer reviews
Even though it's a glossy reprint of every issue. ..
It's complete. ..every thing is there.
Well worth the money.